Sensor development kits target environmental, biometric and IoT applications

September 04, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Silicon Labs has added two development kits to accelerate the design of environmental and biometric sensing applications for a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) products.

The SLSTK3201A environmental sensing development kit from Silicon Labs streamlines the process of developing IoT products that sense relative humidity (RH), temperature, ultraviolet (UV) light, ambient light, proximity and human gestures. The development kit combines an EFM32 Zero Gecko microcontroller (MCU) starter kit with a sensor expansion board. The kit also features a gesture-controlled weather station application that tracks RH, temperature and UV index.

Complete source code is available from the company's Simplicity Studio development platform, reducing application development time. Target applications for the kits include home security systems, smart thermostats, smoke detectors, weather stations, smart watches, fitness bands, heart-rate earphones and other wearable products.

The biometric sensing development platform simplifies measurement of heart rate and blood oxygen level, as well as UV index, relative humidity and temperature. The platform includes the BIOMETRIC-EXP-EVB expansion card with the Si114x optical sensors and Si701x/2x humidity and temperature sensors. The sensor card plugs directly into the company's EFM32 Wonder Gecko MCU starter kit. An optional wearable-form-factor HRM-GGG-PS board is also available that supports wrist-based heart rate monitoring and connects to the biometric sensor card through an I2C mini-flex cable.

The biometric demonstration firmware for the EFM32 Wonder Gecko starter kit is available at no charge at The library module includes a heart rate algorithm with source configuration files, eliminating the need to develop biometric sensor drivers from scratch.

The environmental and biometric sensing kits operate on coin-cell batteries, making them ideal for battery-powered IoT and wearable applications. Each sensor expansion card features the company's TS3310 boost dc/dc converter to help minimise energy consumption.